HCSA Covid-19 Update
HCSA, supported by our President Lord Philip Hunt and members of the Trustee Board, continue to work closely with all of our strategic partners, including SCCL/NHSSC, NHSE/I to help ensure all our members and NHS colleagues across, hospital trusts, community, mental health and GP’s etc, all have the appropriate PPE and ventilators they need, and we will continue to do so for as long as necessary.
The priority of HCSA is to ensure we are providing the right support to the appropriate organisations and contacts across the NHS so that all staff have access to adequate safety products enabling critically ill patients to be treated safely.
The PM’s Question Time on Wednesday 25th March, heard Jeremy Corbyn challenging the Prime Minister over tweets over the previous weekend, where NHS organisations took to Twitter to ask DIY stores to donate equipment to NHS staff. Another Trust in the North West sent out a tweet on Thursday evening thanking their local Wickes store for donating safety goggles, so it is clear there are still issues where NHS organisation are struggling with adequate delivery of products.
A number of Trust and Mental Health organisations have also flagged this week that they are awaiting deliveries of critical products to maintain staff safety. Any such issues flagged to the HCSA are being escalated as high as possible in order to support our members.
Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland
Procurement and supply chain professionals continue to work with Trust colleagues to deploy PPE, without exception the response by our staff has been outstanding. Here too the response from industry has been magnificent with examples of local companies repurposing their production to support health and social care. One of the stand out features in N.I. is the working across government that is emerging through necessity with health and civil service procurement teams working with business development agencies to identify possible opportunities for local industry.
The situation in Wales is no less challenging with Procurement and our Health courier teams working hard to support our front lines colleagues. The availability of PPE across all sectors remains difficult with normal supply chains being stretched. The industry response has been truly heroic as we are offered all forms of innovative solutions as well as more practical support. The behaviour of some Suppliers has been extremely disappointing as the Celtic countries have been marginalised with the supply of some key products and the breakdown of some of the JIC/JIT contracts is something we will need to reflect on once we win the battle
Supplies: We continue to work at both a UK level and nationally to support health boards in Scotland. Additional visor supply chains have been established with deliveries commencing w/c 30 March and work to establish additional longer-term masks supply is almost concluded. In light of increased hospital facilities being established, boards have now placed significant orders for beds and mattresses, and we are already starting to receive deliveries to support ITU capacity build.
Furthermore, we have been working with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government on creating a new manufacturing capability for hand sanitizer which should be ready by mid April.
Social Care Triage: It’s been just over a week since National Procurement launched Scotland’s Social Care Triage Service to support emergency PPE supply needs to the Social Care sector in Scotland. In that time, we’ve received calls from all Local Authority areas, amounting to over 1million items of PPE being processed for this sector and delivered to over 500care homes in Scotland.
We have tripled our call centre handlers from the initial prediction and increased our capacity within the warehouse and transport to meet the increase in demand. w/c 30 March, we expect to supply a further 3m individual PPE products to community hubs in the sector for easier local collection as well as maintaining our standard triage delivery service.
HCSA are working extremely closely to support our colleagues in NHSSSC/SCCL and NHSE/I, all of whom are working extremely hard under intense pressure to cope with the relentless requests these unprecedented demands are placing on our supply chain.
HCSA are aware of the impact Covid19 is also having on business as usual deliveries, resulting in many being late – understandably this is causing concern and frustration for our NHS colleagues, NHSSC are working closely with trusts to try and resolve all outstanding orders and deliveries.
We have heard anecdotal examples, where one hospital placed an order for 35,000 items that was bigger than the total annual supply in a year for one of our top 5 suppliers in that category – this may well be a legitimate order which will have massive repercussions on the stock in hand and on order through the supply chain, however, our suppliers are all facing equally difficult times when trying to fulfil orders, potentially with a depleted workforce.
Please ensure when ordering via NHSSC that your request is legitimate in order to enable our Supply Chain colleagues to manage demand and appropriately forecast.
Roll cages have also been raised as an issue, with more stock leaving NHSSC warehouses there is a knock-on effect of depleted stock of roll cages available, so please ensure stock is decanted and roll cages returned.
Updates – Keep In Touch
HCSA continues to publish any updates received and these can be found via our web site at https://www.nhsprocurement.org.uk/covid19-responses, please check in here regularly.
NHSSC web site also contains regular updates, guidance and information, please see https://www.supplychain.nhs.uk/covid19/
In addition here is a link to a COVID-19 newsletter which you will start to see coming out from CCS.
Finally CCS has a COVID -19 webpage. We’ll be adding further content to that in the coming days and weeks, but for now it includes PPNs, customer communications, and a web contact form:
Our HCSA National Stakeholder Group of 20 Heads of Procurement across the NHS in England, Wales and Ireland are all actively exchanging regular updates and are a useful “go to” for information. However, please recognise that every NHG Lead is facing unprecedented challenges to support their local trusts, so if you have any queries you can either direct to your local NSG Lead or to the HCSA “contact us” page https://www.nhsprourement.org.uk/,, and we will respond as soon as possible,
Any queries please contact the HCSA “contact us” page or follow HCSA via Twitter at #HCSA.
The 8pm “Clap for our Carers” on Thursday evening saw a massive turn-out across the nation to applaud all of our NHS workers who are tirelessly battling the coronavirus pandemic. This was a humbling yet heart-warming few minutes where the whole of the country united to show its supported for our NHS heroes, each and everyone of whom is working tirelessly to treat those critically ill and those presenting with Covid19 symptoms.
Please ensure all your teams are aware of the HCSA twitter account so that they are able to see first -hand any updates and to be aware of the enormous gratitude that regularly appears from across the UK.
Please Keep Safe, Protect our NHS and Wash Your Hands.